Skip to main content

Full text of "A history of Persia"

See other formats

192                   HISTORY OF PERSIA                  CHAP.
and villages, and taking everything they and their servants
desired without payment. It had also become customary
to send an enormous number of couriers to and from the
court, all of whom seized supplies and even transport
when necessary, with the result that the population had
disappeared from the vicinity of the main roads. This
abuse Ghazan remedied, in the first place by instituting
a private postal service of horses, which was not allowed
to be used by any one except the monarch's special
couriers. He subsequently abolished the old service,
and by rigorously suppressing the use of couriers and
by other means put an end to the extortions. He also
purified and organized the administration of justice,
encouraged agriculture, founded military fiefs, set up a
standard of weights and measures, and worked by every
means for the prosperity of the down-trodden peasantry.
His Buildings and Endowments.—His capital, Tabriz,
Ghazan adorned with buildings which surpassed in
splendour the famous tomb of Sultan Sanjar at Merv.
Building on the same lines, he erected a magnificent
mausoleum, together with an equally magnificent mosque,
two colleges, a hospital, a library, and an observatory.
The most celebrated professors and scientific men of the
age were appointed with liberal salaries to staff" these
foundations, and lands were assigned to .them in per-
petuity, the produce of which provided the salaries and
upkeep. Nor were the students forgotten ; indeed the
entire scheme was thought out with extraordinary
thoroughness, and it is to be regretted that a man of
such administrative genius was shortly afterwards suc-
ceeded by puppet-khans under whom Persia relapsed
into anarchy.
Uljaito, A.H. 703-716 (1304-1316).—The successor
of the great Il-Khan was his brother Mohamed Khuda-
banda, generally known by his title of Uljaitu.1 Upon
hearing of the death of Ghazan he kept the intelligence
1 Uljaitu signifies "Fortunate." The Sultan was born when his mother was
traversing the desert which lies between Merv and Sarakhs. Her attendants, being
obliged to halt, were afraid that the party would die of thirst, but upon the birth of
the infant a heavy shower fell, and it was in commemoration of this that he received
his title.